Using bamboo for design is not a trailblazing or new invention; it has been used in construction since the 10th century AD in China. However, recently the material has been rampantly used to build restaurants, resorts, educational centers, pavilions, houses and whatnot. One reason for this spike might be the increasing demand for sustainable materials the world over, and bamboo fulfills that criterion, along with being versatile, resilient and aesthetically pleasing.
South Asian regions like India, Indonesia and Bali have the highest number of bamboo-made structures, owing to having approximately 900 species of the plant. Although, other parts of the world seem to be catching up too. For instance, during Dubai Design Week 2021, one of the most intriguing installations was Adwab, a kinetic structure made of bamboo. That being said, in interiors, we rarely see any bamboo design interventions apart from furniture.
Here are a few examples of bamboo features in interiors that left us spellbound…
A weaved bamboo installation inside a bookstore named ‘Art bridge Space’ in Shanghai acts as a virtual landscape within the premises. Conceived as a space where creators meet readers, the architects have designed the organic installation to contrast with the project’s otherwise post-modern style. It symbolizes that nature should be a crucial part of our lives, even if we have ambitions for outer space.
Deriving inspiration from the bar’s Chinese location and Japanese menu, the designers decided to use bamboo to give the area a vernacular edge. At the entrance, a long corridor whose enclosing walls are partly cladded with bamboo strips welcomes the visitors. Inside the hall, along with the walls, bamboo is also employed in an interlacing pattern to devise a canopy over the seating area, proving that even too much bamboo is not a buzzkill.
The Flow of Ecstatic Bar in Dongguan, China by Daosheng Design
All is grey in this contemporary and urban bar in China’s Dongguan until you see a fluid ceiling installation made of bamboo, adding a layer of dynamism to the design. An ode to Chinese dragon dancing movement and calligraphy, the serpentine shape juxtaposes with the straight lines of the furniture.
Imbibing the vernacular tradition of ‘Nusantara’ weaving to create ‘breathing walls’ made of woven bamboo, this office’s first floor makes advantage of semi-permeable partitions to filter air and light inside. Acting as operable walls, they can be opened, closed, or even partially closed per the requirements. Here, the material blends with the context of the ground floor decked in woven bricks to create a building that is both contemporary and rooted in culture.
Spanish fashion brand Loewe’s flagship store in Barcelona
The store has been reimagined as a gallery-esque area with a bamboo feature running through its interiors. Located on one of Barcelona’s major shopping streets and inside Casa Lléo Morera, a modernist building designed by Catalan architect Lluís Domènech I Montaner, it matches the sophistication with neutral walls and floors. But the twisting bamboo installation by Japanese artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV gives it an avant-garde look – while looking breezy and brilliant.